Health care: Natural vitamin C offers protection against cataracts

Health care: Natural vitamin C offers protection against cataracts

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Diets high in vitamin C can protect us from clouding the lens of the eye
As people get older, the likelihood of clouding of the eye lens (cataract) increases. To protect yourself from such a disease, it seems to be enough to eat foods with a high vitamin C content. Taking the cataract progression is reduced by up to 33 percent according to a recent study.

A clouding of the eye lens is extremely uncomfortable and has a major impact on our quality of life. If the disease has progressed, a gray clouding behind the pupil can be seen. This so-called cataract must then be surgically removed and the lens is usually replaced by an artificial lens implant. Scientists from King’s College London have now found that vitamin C can help reduce the likelihood of developing a cataract. The doctors published the results of their study in the journal "Ophthalmology".

Vitamin C can have a significant impact on cataracts
The fluid inside the eye helps us prevent oxidation and contains high levels of vitamin C. The experts explain that eating a diet rich in vitamin C increases the amount in the liquid and thus protects our lens. The results of her study could have a significant impact, especially for the aging population worldwide. A simple change in diet, such as increased intake of fruits and vegetables, can help protect yourself from cataracts, explains lead author Professor Chris Hammond from King’s College London. We cannot avoid getting older and diabetes and smoking increase the risk of developing a cataract. But a healthy and balanced diet and lifestyle helps to reduce the risk of cataract surgery, the professor adds.

Vitamin C supplements are not as effective
The study examined a total of 324 pairs of female twins suffering from cataracts within 10 years. The researchers asked the test subjects about their food intake of vitamins. They also observed the lenses of their participants' eyes, the scientists say. The doctors were able to determine that a higher intake of vitamin C led to a reduction in cataract progression by up to 33 percent. The subjects who ate more foods high in vitamin C had clearer lenses. However, the scientists point out that taking vitamin C supplements is not really effective. The experts warn that the benefits of increased vitamin C intake could not be observed in patients taking vitamin tablets. A healthy diet is more complex, but it brings the advantages mentioned for our eyes. According to the researchers, environmental factors and nutrition have a greater influence on the development of cataracts than existing genetic factors. Genetic factors are only responsible for a third of all lens opacities, the researchers explain.

Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness worldwide
Cataract disease affects approximately 20 million people worldwide. The clouding of the lens is the most common cause of blindness. The lens is clouded by a so-called oxidation and wearing glasses or contact lenses does not solve the problem in most cases. Therefore, surgery is usually necessary to replace the clouded lens with an artificial lens implant. (as)

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